DIMAPUR, Oct 19 - The prevalence rate of HIV is alarmingly high in Nagaland with the State recording over 20,000 HIV+ve cases. This was disclosed by principal secretary, Health and Family Welfare department, Himato Zhimomi.
Zhimomi was speaking at the State consultation on HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017 for finalisation of State specific role in Kohima recently.
He said though 20,000 plus HIV +ve cases have been recorded only about 7,000 are availing ART (anti-retroviral therapy) and ARV (anti-retroviral) drugs. Why people are not availing the treatment need to be found out, he stressed.
Zhimomi pointed out that more than 90 per cent HIV transmission is through the sexual route which is specific to Nagaland. He said the workshop has to come out with some measures even following the realm of the moral sphere and on how to ensure that we have an HIV-free society in the next 10 years.
Speaking to the Network of Naga People Living With HIV/AIDS, Zhimomi said: �Any one of us could be afflicted, we understand that. And we want you to be equal partners in our State. Come forward and seek treatment and also claim your rights, this is what the HIV Act is about.�
Consultant (Information, Education and Communication and Mainstreaming), NACO, Garima Sharma spoke on the HIV (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017. She drew attention to disclosure of HIV status, ART and opportunistic management for people living with HIV, welfare measures by the Central and State Governments, appointment of ombudsmen, etc.
Member Secretary, Nagaland State Legal Services Authority (NSLSA), Mezivolu T Therie said the programme has been organised to bring all the stakeholders together to understand the importance of the Act and work more cohesively towards prevention and control of HIV and AIDS and also for the protection of human rights of the HIV positive people.
Therie said the NSLSA is committed to giving its full support in prevention and control of HIV/AIDS and also in protecting the rights of the victims. She said participation of village institutions, educational institutions, churches and local bodies in Nagaland is necessary to make the work possible and successful.
Representatives from Nagaland Baptist Church Council, Naga Mothers Association, Naga Students Federation, government departments, district administration and other NGOs attended the workshop organised by NSACS in collaboration with NACO, FHI360 and KRIPA Foundation.